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Academic Corner: Important Changes Coming to PSAT’s

Some big changes have been made to the PSAT that will help to further define ways to emphasize skills of students and athletes to potential colleges. 

The PSAT is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), taken by high school sophomores and juniors in the United States. The test was first administered in 1971 and has gone through major updates as the education system has changed. The PSAT score is meant to predict a student’s SAT score and prepare them for the SAT. The new PSAT is applicable to all students and athletes.

Things to keep in mind about the new PSAT:

    • Unlike the old PSAT, the redesigned PSAT gives no penalties for wrong answers
    • The content of the new PSAT is meant to be more evidence and context-based, featuring real-world scenarios and data analysis
    • Emphasized skills include depth of analysis, interpretation of a word or idea in context, and multi-step problem solving

The objective of these new tests is to reward students, not trick them,” said Bernadette Bechta, Academic Advisor for Factory Athletics.

By taking the PSAT, students are able to qualify as a National Merit Semifinalist. Being named a Semifinalist is a huge academic achievement and will enhance college applications. It also means that a student can apply to be a Finalist and potentially win a scholarship from the NMSC or Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

The benefit of the new PSAT/SAT is that it will reward students who study regularly and are knowledgable about the content they are learning in school,” says Bechta.

More information, including updated qualifying scores for each state, can be found on the PrepScholar website, here.

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